Ombre Pinwheel Quilt


Hi and welcome to my pattern for the Ombre Pinwheels Quilt! I’m very excited to be here with you today to share this project. I originally made a version of this quilt a few years ago, using different shades of solids, and when I saw that Vanessa Christensen was releasing a selection of ombre prints again with her new Simply Colorful collection, I couldn’t resist seeing how they would work in this pattern!


One half yard of each of three shades of the ombre fabric from Vanessa Christenson’s Simply Colorful 1 OR 6 fat quarters of coordinating prints
3.5 yards of Moda Bella White (background)
4.5 yards of backing fabric
1/2 yard of binding fabric


ombre fabric

Using your rotary cutter and ruler, cut each half yard of ombre fabric into five 3.5” strips. Sub cut these strips into 3.5” squares. You should have 60 squares from each color. Before you remove your fabric from your cutting mat, organize your squares by the darkness of the color

.ombre squares

You should be able to cut 12 squares from each row, so I organized mine into six groups. Label each group with a number. In my pictures, the darkest part of the fabric was labeled 1, and the lightest 6, but you can arrange them however you want. It is important to keep your labels on your solids throughout the piecing! I pieced one set of HSTs at a time, and pressed and trimmed one set at a time so I could easily keep them labeled.


From your background fabric, cut fifteen 3.5” strips, sub cut into 180 3.5” squares.

From your background fabric cut thirteen 5.5” strips, sub cut 90 5.5” squares.


On the back of your 3.5″ white squares, mark a diagonal line. Place a white square on top of a color square, RST.


Sew 1/4” away from this line on both sides, and then cut on the marked line. Press your seam to the dark side and trim your HSTs to 3”.


Arrange your HSTs into groups of four, creating a pinwheel design.


Sew together and press your seams. I sewed my top two blocks and bottom two blocks together, and then sewed the top row to the bottom row. Trim your pinwheel to 5.5″ if necessary.

Using your design wall, or other method of laying out your squares, arrange your pinwheels in your desired pattern. I arranged mine starting with the lightest shade of the lightest color (yellow), and then continued to orange and red. My shading was arranged lightest-darkest, and I alternated my columns – the first column the lightest pinwheel is at the bottom, and they get darker going up. The next column starts light, and gets dark going down. This gives the illusion that the color is moving through the quilt. Alternate your pinwheel blocks with white background squares. Create a column A that begins with a pinwheel block at the beginning and end of the column, and a column B that begins and ends with a white square. Alternate your columns and sew together.




60″x75″ throw quilt perfect for a summer picnic!

Jenn Nevitt

18 comments on “Ombre Pinwheel Quilt

  1. That’s so beautiful! I love pinwheels. This is great!

  2. Sue says:

    Just beautiful! The colors remind me of sunrise!

  3. Melanie C says:

    Love this quilt!!!

  4. An says:

    Do you have an image of the full fabric before and in the middle of the cuts. It is difficult to determine how and where you made the cuts.

    • Jenn Nevitt says:

      Hi An,
      I don’t have an image. What I did was keep my fabric folded, selvedge to selvedge, and cut my squares starting from the selvedge edge, working towards the center of the strip. It isn’t super crucial where your cuts are, since the ombre effect of the print doesn’t have sharp changes in tone. I hope that helps!

  5. Cecilia says:

    I think there is an error in the size of the squares … for you cannot sew a 5.5 inch square on a 3.5 inch square … I’ just saying good idea but I think quilters may be used the hand holding approach here at the MBS more step by step process would have been great.

    • Shauna Dickerson says:

      Checked – you cut a strip 3.5 and subcut that strip into 3.5″ squares. After that you cut 5.5″ strip to be subcut into 5/5″ squares. These are the squares that go in between the pinwheels.

    • Jenn Nevitt says:

      Hi Cecilia,
      I apologize that the size of the squares used for the half-square triangles wasn’t clearly marked. I’ve revised the post. I hope it is easier for you to understand now.

  6. says:

    hm k not sure that is clear … but makes sense

  7. Paige says:

    This quilt is gorgeous! You did an amazing job!


  8. CruiseFan says:

    That is a) cute, b) easy and c) wonderful use of color!
    Thanks for sharing, this is really a lovely design.
    Pinwheels always make such a fresh, crisp look.
    I have so many shades of blue/green/purple…could imagine those to look great, too.

  9. Susan Brennand says:

    Omg, I am looking for this fabric when we start the Row by Row here! Love how this turned out. Did you use Kona solid or a white on white for the background?

  10. Charleen says:

    I love the slight variations of these ombres and this orange slice is so cute. I purchased 2 (not one,but 2) jelly rolls and have been searching for a use for them. Have you made or seen any patterns you could share. This oranges one is so cute, though I am not sure how I would use the jelly rolls. Thanks!

    • Anna in IL says:

      Just do smaller pinwheels and use the Easy Angle ruler. Your pinwheels would end up 4″ finished instead of 5″ finished and you would cut your setting squares 4 1/2″ instead of 5 1/2″.

  11. Brenda Wallace says:

    I have just made my first pinwheel square and it turned out beautiful; this quilt inspires me to try my hand at a whole quilt using pinwheels!
    Lovely !

  12. Susan says:

    Love this take on pinwheels! You have done such a gorgeous job of blending colors on this! I know this is going to sound lazy, but if you’re good at figuring yardage, it would be such a help to have a section of the post give hints on what yardage would be if, say, one wanted to make this quilt into a twin bed, full bed, queen bed etc size … I’m a relative novice and have already screwed up yardage estimations on a couple other projects when I tried to make a quilt face larger than the posted project. It’s so darn stressful to then have to go back and track down fabric (and sometimes fail miserably … UGH!).

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